A Tuesday Ten: The Wearing of the Green

St. Patrick’s Day!  Being half Irish, I do enjoy wearing green and having some soda bread as part of the day.  And since this is a Tuesday, I thought of an odd, but appropriate topic.  We’re listing green books today!  Books that have green in the title or some significance of the green color in the story.   So here’s my St. Patrick’s Day ten!



The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh, illustrated by Lloyd Bloom (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1982)

The “green” in this story refers to the color of the journal that the main character has.  Pattie is one of a group of colonists who’ve come to the planet Shine escaping a dying Earth.  As crops fail and the struggle to survive on the planet grows more insistent, it’s up to a discovery made by Pattie and her sister that will help  their people guarantee survival.


The Children of Green Knowe by I. M. Boston (HMH Books for Young Readers, 1956)

Here we have an old house full of the unexpected.   Green Knowe as it’s known now, or Green Noah as it was called in the past is a place of strange topiaries,  mysterious landscapes and  . . . ghosts.  In the six books that make up the series, the house remains the central element of the stories.


The Green Futures of Tycho by William Sleator (Puffin, c1981)

It’s been a while since I’ve read this particular time-travel adventure, but if memory serves, the title not only refers to green futures metaphorically, but in some ways literally.  Tycho’s future self, who has decided to use the time-travel device for his own ends, is marked by a green disfigurement that grows as his involvement in time travel grows.  This particular cover goes the whole green route!



Greenglass House by Kate Milford (Clarion, 2014)

Another “green” building.  Greenglass house is a rambling inn where Milo and his parents live and work.  One snowy evening a number of strange guests show up, only to be stuck at the Inn due to the bad weather.  Every one of these guests has secrets and an agenda of their own.  Everyone of them has a reason for showing up at Greenglass house but when everything is finally unravelled, what might the mysterious old Inn reveal?



The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Dover Publications, c1910)

Frankly, nearly any of the Oz books that travel to that fabled city will do, but I liked the idea of choosing the one that highlights the “emerald” aspect of Oz.  As anyone who’s seen the movie or read the books knows, green is THE color for the city of Oz.  In the movie the city actually is green, where in the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the wizard has accomplished this task by having every resident and visitor wear green spectacles.


The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens (Alfred A. Knopf, c2011)

In this story of prophecies and chosen children, we encounter a mystical artifact, one of the Books of Beginning, a green book with blank pages.  When our children of destiny discover this book, the find they can use it to travel through time and space.



Green by Laura Peyton Roberts (Delacorte Books, c2010)

Lily’s thirteenth birthday starts with a bang when she finds an exploding present on her doorstep and gets abducted by leprechauns.   Turns out Lily has been taken by the Clan of Green, and is next in line, after her grandmother to serve as Keeper, guarding all the gold.  But to do this she will have to pass three tests, and if she can’t, she may be stuck in with the Greens forever!


Sir Gawain and the Green Knight as told by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Michael Foreman (Candlewick Press, c2004)

This classic story from the legends of King Arthur features a mysterious green knight who comes and challenges Arthur’s knights to a contest.  Sir Gawain answers the challenge, but soon finds the Green Knight has tricked him. (Despite having his head chopped off, the knight is still alive)  Now Gawain’s own honor and courage is put to the test in this medieval adventure tale.


The Green Fairy Book edited by Andrew Lang (Dover, c1892)

Andrew Lang’s iconic Fairy Book series came in a range of colors–including green!  I figured it was a good fit for the list. This collection contains 42 stories from around the world.



Dream-of-Jade: The Emperor’s Cat by Lloyd Alexander, illustrated by D. Brent Burkett (Cricket Books, 2005)

No ordinary man is permitted to see Kwan-Yu, emperor of China, but Dream-of-Jade is no man.  She is a lovely white cat with bright green eyes.  And when she decides to visit the Emperor, she goes and sits on his throne to wait for him.  The two strike up a conversation, and soon forge an odd, but beautiful friendship between them.  This is one I hadn’t known about before by Lloyd Alexander.   Though such a touching story involving a cat is no surprise from this writer!

So there’s my green ten for today!  What would you add to the list?


About Stephanie Whelan

I'm a children's librarian with a life-long love of all things science fiction and fantasy.

Posted on March 17, 2015, in General Posts, Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    Interesting topic! Green is traditionally a magical color it seems. There’s also the Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily by Goethe. And though green is not in the title, there’s another (evil) green snake in The Silver Chair by CS Lewis.

  2. The first book that pops to mind is the final book in Kersten Gier’s YA time travel trilogy, Emerald Green. But to keep things more middle grade, there’s also Little Green Men at the Mercury Inn by Greg Leitich Smith.

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